Planning permission won for the Friars Entry site – again.

Now reborn as a slender tower of 29 smart student residences, right in the heart of Oxford.

The new design once again won the full support of the planning officers and the planning committee as a radical solution to a tricky site, which will make a positive contribution to the city’s Central Conservation Area.

The key design decision here was not to pussy-foot around but to go for broke: the design does not take the easy path and mediate between its 3-storey and 7-storey neighbours. Instead the strategy is to disguise the ugly rear-end of the tall department store next door by matching it to its full height and effectively re-facing it with a sculptural architectural delight.

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